Moms have been emailing me quite often lately about cloth diapers…are they the greener choice, which ones are best, etc. I cloth diapered two of my babies and I even owned a cloth diaper manufacturing company and store for a few years. I am a big advocate for cloth diapers. To the right you will see my daughter wearing a tye dye diaper I made for her.
So first things first…are they REALLY the green choice in diapering. Yes! Disposable diaper advocates are quick to say that cloth diapers use a lot of water and energy in the laundering process but frankly their arguments are LAME. I laundered cloth diapers for 4 years and it was a tiny blip on the energy usage chart in my house. Water, yes I did use more water…it equated to about 3 extra loads of laundry a week…big woop. I opted to conserve more “conservatively” in other areas to make up for it. Most of my children’s diapers were also made by me with organic fabric or I purchased from another WAHM like myself.
Disposable diapers are made in huge factories that spew chemicals into the air and nearby waterways. One factory can be unloading as much as 50 million gallons of waste water a day. In one US town, this has caused mutations in fish and one awful stench. Huge amounts of energy go into diaper production and then into packaging (wasteful), and then into transportation around the world via truck, plane, and cargo ship. When the diapers reach their respective stores, consumers spend their hard earned money on something that will last a few hours and then be thrown into the garbage. More energy is used to buy and then dispose of diapers and then they will sit, entombed in a landfill for many generations to come. Are you at ease knowing that your baby’s diapers will be around when your great-great-great-great grandchild is born? Ew!
So….cloth is the better choice IMO. They are easier on our limited resources, they are better value, and they can used for many years with several children usually. But many moms turn their noses up about cloth for some reason. They might say cleaning messy diapers is gross, or that they don’t have time for 2 extra loads of laundry. I found neither of these things to be true and trust me I was one of those moms who NEVER would have thought I would use cloth diapers.
Also…sposies are loaded with petroleum products, bleached paper, perfumes, and other chemical nasties. Babies LOVE cloth diapers too. How could I not get excited about cloth diapering when you get to use such cutesy terms like Kissaluv, Happy Heiny, Monkey Doodlez, Fuzzi Bunz, etc.
Moneky Doodlez- My friend Cheryl owns this store and I have known her for years. These diapers are so fine they are works of diaper art. They really last and they are a great value for the price. They are AIO diapers or a one piece diapering system and they have fleece on the inside to wick moisture away from the skin so rashes and discomfort are a thing of the past. There are bamboo options and TONS of color choices. You can also get embroidered diapers too.
I have some diapers made by the same company under a different brand name and they are in excellent condition after 3 plus years. I can’t say enough good things about these diapers…really I can’t. They top my list!
Bumgenius Pocket Diapers– These diapers are another favorite. They are pocket diapers that allow you to customize absorbency levels, although an AIO option is available to. They are also a one size diaper which means you can get away with buying a dozen or so and have them fit from birth to potty learning….no need to buy diapers in each size…these diapers grow with baby. I also like the stretchy tabs on these diapers…way cool.
Fuzzi Bunz – These are pretty popular. They are reliable and well liked by many moms. I like the pockets, the snaps, and the fleece inners. They also have some toddler sizes that are quite helpful for many moms. I still have some of these that are going strong after 4 years so that in itself says a lot.
Happy Heinys– This is a solid diapering choice. They last a long time and they are of good quality. They are pocket diapers as well. I really like the Heiny Huggers fitted diapers for small babies…they fit really well and when paired with a wool cover they are top notch.
Kissaluvs– This is my favorite diaper type for newborns.The Kissaluvs size zero diapers and the Kissaluv countours rock for your baby’s first diaper…tiny sizes, oh so soft, easy to use, and good prices (especially the contours). I also love the colors….lime and melon were my faves. I used these until my babies were about 3-4 months old and then I switched to more absorbent diapers. I was always able to resell these for 80-100% of the purchase price too.
Prefolds – These are the very basic in diapering and not my personal choice but I did use them now and again. They are the most economical choice for sure.
Other Green Diapering Options:
gDiapers – These are flushable diapers. The idea is that you flush them where they dissolve and the water gets treated by your city sewage system, instead of putting diapers in the garbage. You get gDiapers washable covers and then you put flushable liners inside them. SO it is half cloth diaper half flushable diaper and still greener than regular disposables. Drawbacks include the potential for clogging your toilet and septic system and also the cost is prohibitive.
Greener Disposables – There are several brands of disposable diapers that you can buy that are just a bit better than conventional diapers. They might use unbleached paper pulp, fewer chemicals, or be more biodegradable. Seventh Generation and Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine Free Diapers are two to look at. I tried them both at one point and they seemed really stiff and uncomfortable and part of my reason for using cloth was comfort. I wouldn’t want to wear paper/plastic undies so my kids don’t have to either.